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[Photos] On the Street in 1970, From Saigon to Vung Tau

Since Vietnam made helmets compulsory for every trip on motorbikes years ago, it’s hard to imagine a time when this trusty headgear wasn't a part of daily life. Which makes these photos of Saigon, taken in 1970, all the more fascinating.

Still, the image of an entire family fitting snugly on a scooter has entered the psyche of generations of Vietnamese as the quintessential local street experience. Of course, the number of people has to be within the safety limits, but there’s something familiar and endearing about the scene that’s hard to put in words.

These photos were captured by an American serviceman only known by the name Mark. Other than the odd street shot here and there, the collection also offers a range of Saigoneers in 1970: three gal pals having a laugh right on the pavement of Dong Khoi Street, local kids, and even a vendor preparing bún thịt nướng. Apart from scenes in Saigon, Mark also photographed a short trip to Vung Tau which was then a sleepy town with barely any high-rise hotels or resorts — a far cry from its current situation.

Have a trip down memory lane through the photos below:

[Photos via Flickr user manhhai]

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